When Russia was the worst epidemic of the deadly disease

History 02/03/20 When Russia was the worst epidemic of the deadly disease

During the 1654-55 plague epidemic years, Russia has suffered the most in Moscow. According to reports of contemporaries, then the capital is practically empty, and the site of the former residents of Moscow began to take inogorodniy.

the Bubonic plague of the mid-seventeenth century was rampant in many countries of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. In 1653 it caused extensive damage to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a powerful foci of infection were recorded in the lands of Belarus and Ukraine.
In 1654 blow the plagues fell on Central Russia, its waves were able to reach Kazan and Astrakhan. The epidemic has spread unevenly, for example, if in Zvenigorod, her victims were about half of the residents in Torzhok from the disease died, only one out of four.
a Plague of people mowed down mercilessly. As testified by the chronicler, “the People Bo umiraju nezapno death: went anyone, or stood, or sat, and the Taco zabusa male, soon umiraju”. The exact number of victims was not estimated, the numbers vary from several tens to several hundreds of thousands.
Great puzzles for scientists is the hearth that destroyed the plague in Russia. There are different assumptions – Persia, Lithuania, Crimea. Microbiologist Michael Sapotnitsky admitted that the cause of the plague in Russia could be “relict natural hotbed” of the North-West of Moscow.

Away from the capital

First cases of the plagues began to be recorded in Moscow in late June, 1654. The disease manifested itself after a few hours of infection: first the headache, then came the fever – the body quickly weakened. The body gradually swollen, the skin was covered with festering sores and ulcers, the patient fell into a delirium. After suffering for a few days, accompanied by hysterical hemoptysis, came death.
July 4, Patriarch Nikon, already sensing the scale of the epidemic that took the Royal family in the Kalyazin monastery (Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich was at war with Poland). After the Queen and the children of Moscow hastily began to leave the nobles and other notable citizens.
Ordinary Muscovites did not initially respond to disease outbreaks, but when the death rate went up sharply, they are in a panic began to run away from the city, spreading the infection around. A lot of people went into the woods, but to survive without food supplies there it was virtually impossible.
Its peak in Moscow, the epidemic peaked in August and September 1654. If the first week died every day hundreds of citizens, now the account was in the thousands. Were in a terrible plague days under the Moscow Patriarch of Antioch Macarius III wrote:
“the City, once teeming with people, now deserted. The village, too, of course, were empty, still died out and the monks in the monasteries. Animals, livestock, pigs, chickens, etc., without the owners, wandering, abandoned without prizora, for the most part died of hunger and thirst”.
to avoid the spread of the plague Nikon ordered to put around the Moscow Outpost, and tried to circumvent the cordon in a roundabout way threatened to execute. Under the strict control was taken by road to Smolensk, which was then besieged by the Russian army.

Hoping for a miracle

For obvious reasons at the time had no idea how to deal with the plague, the most effective remedy morovich beliefs was considered to be the prayers and the miraculous icon. Physicians served only the Royal court and the army, the rest had to hope for a miracle.
unfortunately, the spread of the epidemic favored summer heat and unsanitary conditions that prevailed at the close of the Moscow streets. The most effective weapon against an infection in such circumstances was the fire. If the plague devastated any yard, authorities were ordered to burn it.
During the move of the Royal family in Kalyazin road she crossed the wagon with the dead woman. Support of the Queen has ordered to impose “infected” part of the way with firewood, to set fire to them, and the resulting charcoal with zeMLA to take away.
“Through the fire” was held and delivered from the plague of the city’s correspondence. The messenger had read the text of the message, the guard copied it to the new paper, then read a letter went into the fire.
the bodies of the victims, the Moscow authorities ordered to evacuate outside the city, but this order was often ignored. According to custom, were buried in Church cemeteries, even when they were crowded. While plague burial not isolated. Only on the territory of the Kremlin began to enclose the cemetery a high fence and to close tightly in order to “the plague people didn’t commit”.

a New generation

From Moscow, the plague began to retreat only to November 1654, leaving behind the deserted streets and yards. The numbers of victims of the epidemic called different. Antioch archdeacon Paul of Aleppo writes about 480 thousand, the English envoy William Prideaux notes that in Moscow, “died and was buried, according to the register, more than 200 million, not counting the several thousand bodies, have not found another grave, as in the intestines of dogs and pigs”.
the Modern historian Eugene Zvyagintsev is not inclined to exaggerate the number of victims, however, he cites a figure of not less than 150 thousand people, which accounted for more than half of the residents of the capital. In some yards, as, for example, boyar Cherkassky, the number of deaths exceeded 80%.
to make Up for demographic losses of the capital decided by the resettlement of poles and Belarusians captured in the war territories. Alexis planned to direct to Moscow to 300 thousand settlers, but his intentions were realized only partially. As noted by historian Sergey Lobachev, new residents of the capital to a large extent “contributed to the decay of old traditions, bringing with them the elements of Western culture.”
Fears that the epidemic will have a negative impact on the state of the Russian army, was not confirmed. Russia in the course of the military campaign of 1654-1667 was able to return annexed by Poland in the time of Troubles Smolensk and BryanUK, and to consolidate the Kiev.

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